We took a week off to visit family in Utah last week. We drove the 6 hours (YES!!!!) down to Bountiful first. I made the mistake of passing Burley around 11:15...thought process was we could catch the next town for lunch. The next town was 2 hours away in Tremonton. I did not pack many snacks because the drive was not "very" long. I was also low on gas so stopped "In the Middle of Nowhere" gas station aka Sublett Fuel Station. It was a lonely scene...nothing EXCEPT for the cutest llamas, goats, donkey, and pony ever! We all enjoyed a moment outside to admire the animals. Inside I was hoping for snacks to tide the hangry beasts for another hour...even a potty. Nah, those amenities are not offerered except in the extreme price gouging category. You need gas? Try $5 per gallon. Need a bag of stale chips? $4 for a snack size? Need a potty drive 15 miles in either direction for the next rest stop. At least the store decor was amusing: a corner barred off with a sign advertising baby rattlers...baby rattles in the bottom. Local calls on a tin can with a string! We listened to a few chapters of Fablehaven book 2 while we finished the Middle of Nowhere tour of Idaho. First stop was a short visit with Charity and crew. Reagan is making really cute bracelets if you need some darling in you life. We drove down to Grandma Debbie's for the night. We spent the evening roaming her gardens and pulling out all the toys. Grandma introduced us to the Fighting Preacher movie. So good! It went hand in hand with our Pioneer Day devotionals.
Tuesday morning we played with Hannah and Rachel while Aunt Jana went to work. We sweated at the park for a few moments. The little girls spent a happy couple hours playing dress ups. The older kids vied for Rachel's attention. I made a terrible batch of mac n'cheese, one of the boxes was a bit rancid. So we were all very hungry, I stepped out to buy lunchables for the hungry crowd. Aunt Jana took us swimming at Grandma Eileen's indoor swimming pool. Eileen is a very fun soul! She had my older kids doing tricks using two pool noodles! Hannah is quite the little swimmer. She was all mermaid. We made our way down to the Eagle Mountain Lance compound towards evening. Seth celebrated his 17th birthday?! Say what? Miekka and the kids made their famous pizza. Yum. The rest of our days there were a blur of cousin activity. Seth has a big person job, he worked most days from 7:30-2 at the Good and the Beautiful curriculum center.
*the customary gas station visit with all the cousins.
*kids running in between the Lance(s) homes in various stages of dress and undress
*my sciatic went out on Wednesday, I had tears in my eyes for hours from the extreme pain. I went to Dr Crack-a-lack for several adjustments. A tens unit and other interventions have my back pain under control (for now).
*so many snacks
*lots of embroidery thread bracelets, including two hair wraps for Mia and Evelyn
*a fun visit to Manila Creek Park with cousins and neighbors. All the snack and ladies hovering in the shade. Lots of fun stories. Lots of sand, sun, and kayak riding. Sodalicious to rehydrate the soul.
*Full day of thrift shopping with the girls...and Jacob. John watched the remaining gaggle of kids at his home (three movies worth of time plus chicken nuggets). Mia and Lia found lots of cute clothes. I found lots of kid books for my library. A fiasco wait for legendary chicken sandwiches at Popeyes (?). We ordered online but had to wait 30 minutes in the drive thru, then they forgot my order. Miekka has black-listed them.
*Drove 45 minutes to wait at Bok-Bok restaurant for Jeremy and Yulz plus kids who were driving thru headed for home. We got to kiss the babies for a few moments while we gulped down Korean chicken. They had to make it to Cedar City before bed time for their kiddos. Since we were in the area I took Mia, Lia, and Josie to the BYU Bookstore before it closed. The kids all got a new shirt and hat! Josie was most excited for her super-sized lolly.
*I took several kids with me to Grandma's house while I took Jana's family photos. I was gone much longer than expected. We ate dinner near 8 pm! Sorry kids! Grandma fed the kids french toast snacks. Rachel was a total cutie, showing off her cute shoes. The kids helped Grandma water her plants. The kids all kept some lamb's ear leaves, Phillip used his leaves as Baymax ears.
*had home church with our families. Enjoyed testimony meeting. Had a delicious dinner to celebrate my birthday, Emmie, and Hannah's birthdays! Grandma, Jeffrey, and Jana's family came down for dinner. Jana made her yummy apple cheesecake bars.
*spent Monday morning playing. Stopped at the chiro for another adjustment. Headed home around 3 after stopping at Grandma's for Josie's BYU hat and give Jana and girls hugs. We arrived back home before Justin around 9:25 pm. Yay
We recuperated on Tuesday: aka cleaned out the van, worked on laundry, and went grocery shopping.
I celebrated my 43rd birthday on Wednesday! Amelia made me a smoothie in bed, Evelyn added in a card and some toast. Yay! Justin upgraded my phone to the iPhone 11 pro! Yay yay! We went to lunch with Justin near his work. The boys had Activity Boys, working on their fishing skills. They also learned about several types of fish in the local ponds. Mia had a CES broadcast for the Idaho region. Justin made dinner and cleaned up. That was pretty amazing. My cake was actually a visit to Dairy Queen for a butterscotch cone plus whatever the kids ordered.
Miekka and Lia drove up to Idaho on Thursday. Lia wanted a girl's trip! We tidied the house. Took me several hours to get the girl's room back in order. I purchased a fun AG doll-sized ice cream truck with lots of fun accessories. The kids are enjoying the new toy. I picked up a load of barnwood to make a new photo backdrop from a place past Caldwell. I stopped to use the restroom, a guy with a skirt strutted out of the ladies room. I felt a little strange, I wonder how s/he felt?
Friday we explored Eagle Island State Park. The weather was quite cool and breezy, made the beach tolerable! The pond is smallish but very pretty, lots of grass nearby with a fun park. We snatched a picnic table in the shade for our stuff and picnic food. The kids played with the large Flamingo. The little girls got mermaid tails. Evelyn was a punk and ruined Josie's tail just for spite. I let Josie takeover Evelyn's tail...no reaction. Stinker. Miekka, Lia, Mia, and I all headed out for a girl's night on the town and a sleep at a hotel! We left Phillip with the little kids watching and playing until Justin got home. I heard no negative reports so all went "smoothly" there. We stopped at Guitar Center to check out Ukuleles. Mia got a really nice one for a really good price. Next stop was sushi dinner in a fancy part of town full of hippies and cool cats. We brought the level down with silly teenaged girls and no alcohol. The gelato store next to the sushi joint looked yummy until I saw the boozy flavors and prices. I'll take soft-serve or a diet coke thanks. We got to the hotel in time for the girls to swim, the pool supposedly closed at 9 but the girls enjoyed the water until almost 10. The rest of our night was full of Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, baths, and silliness. Next day we searched for doughnuts, I am disappointed in Boise's doughnut offerings. Shopping next at Bath and Body for an awesome sale on lotion. Target for cute stuff and last of all DI. Justin was sitting on the lawn with the kids engaged in yard work! YES! Everyone survived another night without Mom. Thanks Justin for holding down the fort for 24 hours. Phillip got ear candle treatments. I read later that all that dust is actually not earwax...sure looks like it to me, gross.
We had home church today. Miekka and Lia headed back for Utah afterwards. That was a fun little trip for us all.